The Best Boutique Hotels to Stay in Cornwall

Cornwall has some fabulous hotel options, including the Idle Rocks, in St Mawes
Cornwall has some fabulous hotel options, including the Idle Rocks, in St Mawes | © ian woolcock / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lauren Williams
Freelance Travel Journalist16 October 2020

As if Cornwall’s incredible scenery wasn’t enough, there’s a host of boutique hotels just waiting for you to unwind in at the end of a long day exploring. Sip cocktails with sea views in small villages, dine with world-famous chefs and fall into heavenly beds. Here’s our guide.

Artist Residence, Penzance

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Courtesy of Artist Residence Penzance / Expedia
Opposite the Admiral Benbow pub, on Chapel Street, is a brightly coloured, rustic yet comfortable hideaway in an historic Penzance townhouse called The Artist Residence. Big armchairs and thick Persian rugs fill the homely bar and lounge, while each room is individually done out. Gather friends to stay in the Cottage, or treat yourself to a long weekend in the Lookout, where you can sip wine in a copper rolltop bath, or watch the horizon turn pink over Marazion from your private terrace. Downstairs, the Cornish Barn is a rustic smokehouse and kitchen with a beautifully leafy outdoor area, where you can chow down on gourmet burgers, local meats and sweet cocktails.

St Enodoc, Rock

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Courtesy of The St Enodoc Hotel / Expedia
A wonderfully simple hotel overlooking the Camel Estuary in Rock, St Enodoc has complete relaxation at its core. Stylish, laid-back, with bright colours and clean lines, this is the perfect getaway for a seaside break, for all the family. Indulge in a full-body massage, facial or manicure at the on-site spa, or head for the beach a stone’s throw away. Alternatively, take the passenger ferry across the river to Padstow. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is home-made, even the butter, meaning that all the flavours are unique to the chef and hotel.

Old Quay House, Fowey

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Courtesy of The Old Quay House Hotel / Expedia
Set in the heart of Fowey’s narrow yet busy Fore Street, the Old Quay House is a soothing oasis in the midst of the hubbub. The rooms, spread over three floors, are all tastefully designed; the luxe Penthouse has perfect Fowey Estuary views from a private balcony. Most rooms do have a view of the water, which means you can sip your morning cuppa in bed, while watching the sailboats outside. The restaurant downstairs, which spills out onto a deck jutting out over the river, is nothing short of sublime. Charred Cornish mackerel, spiced duck breast and thyme gnocchi are just some of the fabulous dishes on offer. Grab yourself a glass of champers, put your feet up and enjoy that fantastic Cornish sunshine in Fowey’s most sought-after location.

The Idle Rocks, Saint Mawes

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This cool waterfront inn is like something out of an interior design shoot, and you’d be forgiven for forgetting you are in the UK as you sip on some fizz, looking out at blue skies. Most rooms offer sweeping views of the ocean, while others look out over the harbour or village of Saint Mawes. The Idle Rocks is a wonderful hideaway for couples, where your every need is catered to. Although the food is spectacular, the restaurant itself is casual and comfortable. In addition to outstanding breakfast, light lunch and dinner menus, afternoon tea here is something to be admired. The chefs here forage and fish for produce right on the doorstep, while veggies are delivered from the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The hotel is part of the sustainable fish movement, which makes it not only magnificent, but ethical too.

Hell Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly

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Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher Island, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England
© Steve Davey Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
If you’re going to go to hell, you may as well go down swinging. This picture-perfect hotel, on the Scillys’ smallest inhabited island, seems to sit at the end of the world, with views far out across the Atlantic. Bryher is a magical place, and at just half a square mile, it has little to no traffic, deserted beaches and sunsets to die for. Hell Bay Hotel is truly one of a kind, where you can sip bubbles on the terrace, relax in your bright and airy suite or pootle down to the beach to dip your toes in the warm Scilly sea. The food at Hell Bay is as local as it gets, so whether you choose Cornish rump of lamb or line-caught Cornish bass, you can be sure it hasn’t come far.

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  • Trewornan Manor, Wadebridge

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    Lounge at Trewornan Manor bed and breakfast, near Wadebridge, north Cornwall
    © Clare Hargreaves / Alamy Stock Photo
    This 13th-century house, surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns and lavender beds with roses crawling up the walls, is the ultimate English retreat. The Manor has only seven bedrooms and is a stylish home from home in North Cornwall. Although the exterior may seem authentic British, the inside oozes contemporary chic and pops with colour in unexpected corners, jazzing up traditional flagstone windows, shutters and hallways. Breakfast in the bright, airy dining room, with healthy produce and fresh pastries on the buffet. A hearty Cornish breakfast, eggs benny, bacon sandwiches and more are all available on request from the kitchen.

    Upton House, Fowey

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    A unique little bolthole in the middle of Fowey, Upton House has three guest bedrooms, all with separate themes. Stay in the Snow Bubble to swing on chairs suspended from the ceiling and sleep under a disco ball; the Skullery for a more grown-up retreat in luxurious surroundings; or the Flamingo Room for chandeliers and fun. Enjoy a Parisian breakfast in the luxury dining room, snuggle by the fire in the lounge on winter’s nights and enjoy the sheer eccentricity of this boutique retreat.

    Hotel Tresanton, Saint Mawes

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    Courtesy of Hotel Tresanton / Expedia
    This relaxed country house overlooking the sea, filled with the scent of tropical flowers, is an escape from the real world. There are 30 rooms, all with sea views, and the whole hotel has been designed around al fresco dining, stargazing and staring wistfully out to sea. Hotel Tresanton also has its own traditional wooden yacht, the Pinuccia, which can be skippered in the sheltered waters of the Fal Estuary from May to September. The hotel menu is kept simple, relying on flavours from the best produce available on the day; lunch menus are published at 11am, dinner at 5pm. There is also a tidal beach just below the hotel with great rock pools to explore and a floating platform to swim off.
    These recommendations were updated on October 16, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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